American IT and Clean Tech Companies Make Inroads in West Balkans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2022
Contact: Office of Public Affairs
This release contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.
WASHINGTON – From Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe and Eurasia, David De Falco, led an IT and clean technology trade mission of 27 companies to Serbia and Montenegro to promote U.S. IT and clean technology exports and strengthen commercial ties in the West Balkan region. During this trade mission, U.S. business delegates networked and engaged in face-to-face meetings with potential business partners, distributors, end users, and other public and private stakeholders from both Serbia and Montenegro as well as the wider region.
Deputy Assistant Secretary De Falco visited both Belgrade, Serbia, and Podgorica, Montenegro, where he met with public and private sector officials to emphasize the United States’ commitment to strong commercial relationships in the Western Balkan region; to discuss regional commercial and economic priorities; to advocate on behalf of U.S. IT and clean technology exporters; and to advance women’s economic empowerment in the region.
“This trade mission has been productive in not only deepening our bilateral commercial partnerships with Serbia and Montenegro, but also for furthering our understanding of the commercial and economic challenges and opportunities in Western Balkan countries and how the United States can help,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary De Falco. “I’m encouraged by the progress made during discussions with stakeholders and I have full confidence that U.S. IT and clean technology companies can help the region achieve its ambitious digital transformation and energy goals.”
Among the officials that Deputy Assistant Secretary De Falco met with in Serbia were President Aleksandar Vučić, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Djedovic, and Mihailo Jovanovic, Minister of Information and Telecommunications, Officials he met with in Montenegro included President Milo Đukanović, Prime Minister Dritan Abazović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Capital Investments Ervin Ibrahimovic, and the ministers of finance, public administration, and economic development/tourism.
In Serbia, the deputy assistant secretary promoted greater regional economic integration with opening remarks at two regionally focused business events. The first was a regional AmCham reception that included participation from Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and North Macedonia. During the event AmCham Serbia affirmed its commitment to empowering women in business by signing the official declaration to join the ITA-AmCham EMPOWER HER initiative. The second event was a landmark Western Balkan Regional Commercial Conference that was organized by the Commercial Service, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Serbia and other regional chambers. The conference was centered around regional commercial opportunities and upcoming IT and clean energy projects. The event featured roundtable discussions with experts, business matchmaking meetings, and included participation from the regional business chambers and local companies.
In Montenegro, he gave opening remarks and attended an AmCham Montenegro Business Luncheon. At the event, AmCham Montenegro President Svetlana Vukansovic, and Ambassador Judy Reinke confirmed that this was the first-ever U.S. government trade mission to the country. Executive Director Marko Mirocevic also confirmed AmCham Montenegro’s pledge to join the EMPOWER HER Initiative. Later in the visit, Deputy Assistant Secretary De Falco and the delegation met with private stakeholders, including Crnogorski Telekom on behalf of U.S. IT companies, and the Electric Power Company of Montenegro (EPCG) on behalf of U.S. clean technology companies.
The visit to Montenegro concluded with mission delegate UGT Renewables signing a historic Joint Development Agreement with the Electric Power Company of Montenegro to develop utility scale solar power projects and energy storage facilities. Prime Minister Abazovic, Ambassador Reinke and Deputy Assistant Secretary De Falco witnessed the signing ceremony.
About the International Trade Administration
The International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has more than 2,200 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets worldwide. For more information on ITA, visit www.trade.gov.